Dec. 8, 2017 (Phys.org) -- Five new categories of mental illness that cut across the current more broad diagnoses of anxiety and depression have been identified by researchers in a Stanford-led study.
The five categories, defined by their specific symptoms and areas of brain activation, are: tension, anxious arousal, general anxiety, anhedonia -- the inability to feel pleasure -- and melancholia.
"We are trying to disentangle the symptom overlap in our current diagnoses which can ultimately guide tailored treatment choices," the researchers wrote in their study, which was published in JAMA Psychiatry.
The research is part of an ongoing effort by Leanne Williams, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and senior author of the study, and her lab, along with other groups within the field of psychiatric neuroscience, to better define mental illness in order to provide improved treatment plans for the millions of Americans who suffer from these disorders.
Currently, depression and anxiety are the leading cause of disability and lost productivity worldwide with only one-third of patients recovering from treatment, the study said.